Oakland University Alumni form a New Professional Theatre Group

Marco Zaccagnini graduated from Oakland University in 2006 from the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. His passion for the stage led him to start the Epicenter Theatre Group. Marco is president of the new non-profit group based here in Michigan. The group is comprised of 10 like-minded individuals, many with ties to the Oakland University.�

Getting Started 

Their first production, Glengarry Glen Ross, took place this summer at The Varner Hall Studio on the campus of Oakland University. The play is about a troubled real estate market, making a perfect fit for Michigan’s poor economy at the present. 

We are in the middle of their second production which opened last weekend and finishes this weekend (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) at The Varner Hall Lab at OU. Two one-act plays are featured, the first one serious and sad; and the second one witty and fun. Both are geared for an audience over 17 years of age. Strong language and adult situations are used in moderation and happens quickly but may make some viewers uncomfortable.�

The Man Who Lost His Sundays 

The first performance is written and directed by Epicenter member, Marius Iliescu, and is based on the true story of his grandparents ordeal behind the iron curtain in Romania. The Man Who Lost His Sundays takes the audience backwards in time to tell the tale much as a child would recall the story. “Theatre might not be a solution to world’s problems today, but surely can be a powerful toolbox that might succeed in attempting to solve them. After all, the power radiating from a truthful stage is stronger than a hundred meaningless political rallies,” states Iliescu. 

Picasso at the Lapin Agile 

Picasso at the Lapin Agileis the second performance and is funny, full of wit, and makes you smile. Albert Einstein meets Pablo Picasso in 1904 in a café in Paris. Science clashes with art, romance, and strange encounters. This play was written by Steve Martin and directed by Bill Premin. Premin also has a role in both performances and is the vice-president and artistic director for The Epicenter Theatre Group. 

The venue is small and cozy with good sound and pleasing lights. Both sets are simple and fun; and you feel like you’re on stage with the actors. 

Moving Forward 

While the current production is not for everyone, the group plans to continue to bring professional theatre to the area. Future productions include: Death of a Salesman, The Fantasticks, The Odd Couple, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Children’s Theatre, acting workshops, and sketch comedy are also in the works. 

For more information and to purchase tickets for the show, visit www.epicentertheatregroup.org or call 586-246-7546. General admission tickets are $20.00 and only $15.00 for students. Remaining performances are Thursday through Saturday (November 3rd, 4th & 5th) starting at 8:00 p.m.

By Michael Dwyer

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

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